Knott’s Berry Farm has launched its popular Boysenberry Festival and it’s berry good this year. The flowers are in bloom, the food is a dark purple color, and there’s a renewed nostalgia down on the farm. Let’s take a look at the flavor of this year’s event.
The Festival had a huge kickoff on April 1st and a massive crowd showed up to partake in the festivities. The growing popularity of this event is evident.
Knott’s claims to have more than seventy items available just for the Boysenberry festival. That means that there are plenty of options to keep you coming back, but the easiest way to get a taste of the festival is to purchase a tasting card. At $25 for six items it’s a real bargain.
Both the food tasting card and the wine tasting cards are $25 each. While the wine card allows you to choose whatever six tastings you want to try, the food card has six pre-selected options. Because food items are fixed and no substitutions are allowed, we suggest being careful with the tasting card. If you don’t like a majority of the items on the card or have food allergies that inhibit you from eating any of the offerings, you may be better off avoiding the card. But due to the great bargain of the tasting card, we highly recommend it if you can eat at least most of the options and can perhaps share any remaining items with another member of your party.
Here are the six options on the Boysenberry Festival tasting card:
Boysenberry BBQ Meatballs
Meaty, sweet, and filling. These were a favorite among the MiceChat crew.
Boysenberry Fry Bread
Gooey, chewy, and extra sweet. This one is messy, so bring napkins. It is also a vegetarian dish. But don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s healthy. It’s devilishly good.
Boysenberry Buffalo Wings
Surprisingly not spicy, but tangy and flavorful. These are also incredibly messy, but the portion is pretty generous.
Creamy, soft, and surprisingly less sweet. This was one of the most unique boysenberry options, and it’s also a vegetarian dish.
Boysenberry Panna Cotta
I would’ve expected this to be sickly sweet, but it was surprisingly tangy and mild.
This offering tastes like a salad on a pizza and is sweeter than expected. They also put almonds on top of the pizza if you have a nut allergy, but it’s satisfying and good.
If we had one bit of advice for Knott’s, it’s that the dedicated temporary outdoor booths work great and serve guests lightning fast (they stamp your card, hand you your food, and you’re done). The same can not be said for the items being served from established food service locations. There, you must wait in sometimes very long lines as other guests order items and need to pay with cash or credit card. It seems like it would be much more efficient to have a dedicated line at these locations so guests with the tasting card can get in and out with a simple stamp and not clog up the line for paying guests. But overall, the experience was fun and delicious.
Wine and Craft Brew Tasting
If you’re looking for alcoholic beverages, look no further than the one-stop shop wine and craft brew tasting area.
There are tons of options from wineries all over the world. And it’s in a delightfully air conditioned indoor space.
There are many other offerings to try separately at the Boysenberry Festival as well.
We tried the boysenberry spare ribs and they were delightful with a robust flavor.
These boysenberry Nutella crepes are just as amazing as they appear. And they are made right before your eyes. Both the crepes and short ribs are available at the Chophouse.
Over in Charleston Circle, the boysenberry ice tea is available at Starbucks.
Boysenberry beer and wine are available in the Saloon.
There are two gems of this year’s festival. The first is near the beer and wine tasting garden. This historic building normally houses bugs, but currently it’s a pie kitchen where you build your own boysenberry pies for $5.99.
To begin, you’re given a pie crust and a bag with Boysenberry pie filling.
Cut the pie filling bag and place the boysenberry filling inside the pie crust.
Add pie crumbs and whip cream to your liking.
And top off it off with plenty of chocolate.
The other hidden gem of the festival is the hand-crafted boysenberry cream soda. They make the soda at Judge Roy Bean’s, next to the Stage Coach queue, and it comes in a souvenir jelly jar. Scott actually enjoyed it so much that he went back right before close to get another one.
Knott’s has kicked up the entertainment this year with some new and impressive shows we think you’ll enjoy. The theme is pure nostalgia. These shows are fun, corny, well produced, family friendly . . . and reflect the theme park shows of old that we loved so much. It was like old home week and we just couldn’t have enjoyed it more than we did.
Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jam-boree
The main show of the festival this year is Snoopy’s Boysenberry Jam-boree. This show offers toe-tapping songs, amazing choreography and is not to be missed. We guarantee you’ll be doing the bunny hop for hours after you see this show.
The beauty pageant section of the show had beautiful costumes.
There’s a precious moment when all the Peanuts characters come off the stage to do the bunny hop with the audience.
Below is a video of the whole show.
The music reaches deep into Knott’s roots and reflects the movie musical sounds that compliment Ghost Town perfectly. Definitely make time for this one as it fills in quickly and only has two showtimes per day.
The Old Time Melodrama
Just for the festival, Knott’s has returned its beloved Old Time Melodrama. Boysenberry Bedlam pays tribute to the history of the theater and gives Knott’s a tick-mark on the list of amazing entertainment available at the festival. Many guests may walk right by the theater in search of food or rides . . . but that would be a big mistake. This show is an absolute delight. Well written and performed with expert comedic timing, I didn’t want it to end.
Pictures don’t really do this show justice, the corny jokes are hilarious.
Stop in during the Festival and see this show, it’s hysterical.Which new Knott's #BoysenberryFestival show is your favorite this year, the Melodrama or Snoopy's Jam-Boree?Click To Tweet
VR Showdown in Ghost Town
With the beginning of the Boysenberry Festival, Knott’s opened their new VR experience: Showdown in Ghost Town. It’s in the arcade underneath the Journey to the Iron Reef attraction.
Scott offered a short review of his experience:
I’ve played quite a few VR games on the Oculus Rift (including some that use the new Oculus Touch controllers as well), even some very impressive and entertaining ones, but Showdown in Ghost Town offers a better experience than most home VR games. You would think that it’s the opposite, but I went in expecting my previous experience with VR to be superior and found that Knott’s experience to be high quality with great motion tracking, entertaining gameplay with plenty of tense moments, and an attention to detail. They even thought of the little things like how the carpet square in the middle of the room is the same size as the actual play area, which allows for you to feel the edge of the area with your feet and see it in-game. That’s something I appreciate after spending time tripping over or smashing things at home. I wish this game was available for me in a format I could play on my own, it’s that fun.
At the cost of $6 a game, it’s well worth the cost. Dusty Sage, Hastin Zylstra, and Nick Tierce put together full coverage of the experience HERE.
Knott’s is offering some wonderful merch this year for the festival. They’re selling this Snoopy plush that it is just the cutest.
These T-shirts are a steal for $10.99
There are also a few boysenberry cooking items that you can take home like tea, honey, and BBQ sauce.
Boysenberry candy is also available.
There’s even boysenberry beef jerky and boysenberry cotton candy this year folks!
80s Dance Party
Near the end of the night, Cloud 9 throws an 80s dance party. Many of the younger guests made their way here to dance away the remaining park hours, and alcohol was available for the adults. Everyone seemed to having an incredibly fun time, and we felt that it was, ahem, rad.
To continue the 80s theme, a small handful of arcade games were available on free play. All the classics were there, so if pounding away at an arcade cabinet is more your speed, go for it.
Here’s a fun infographic about the Boysenberry:
In short, Knott’s has pieced together a heartfelt festival which feels like an old time county fair. The food is great, the entertainment is fabulous, and the homespun decorations and vibe are a perfect fit for Ghost Town. And since you can buy an annual pass for just 6 payments of $15.16, it’s the best deal in town. Try something new for a change and get yourself down to the farm . . . Knott’s Berry Farm that is.
Well, who’s hungry? Have you experienced the festival yet? Looking forward to giving it a try? Chime in and let us know your thoughts.
This update was photographed by Brian Pinsky, Dusty Sage, and Scott Attula. The comments above also reflect the opinions of the three of us.